Tragic events marked the XX century, from the massacre of Tutsis to that of Azerbaijanis, through the ongoing genocide of the Yezidis, the Shoah and Srebrenica.
As early as 1945, the United Nations officially designated the term "genocide" to refer to the planned killing of a group of human beings without any basis other than their membership in that group. This term, of course, applies to the extermination of Jews in Europe, but its generic character is struggling to represent the uniqueness and unparalleled scale of this crime.
The genocide of the Holocaust in January, the massacre of Khodjaly are commemorated in February. To assist in creating eternal commemoration ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day - 27 January 2017, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) launched the “We Remember” global campaign. The initiative had hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths, backgrounds and nationalities sharing images of themselves holding up the words “We Remember” on social media. With some 200,000 contributors from as far as Pakistan and Peru to South Africa and Sweden, the project reached nearly 100 million people around the world.Obviously, thousands of Azerbaijanis also joined in this campaign devoted to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust, symbol of the cruelty perpetrated against humanity not only the Jews. Azerbaijan must join because this country is living every year the same pains in Khojaly that have lived through the bloody pages of history.
We must remember because we owe it to the victims of the Holocaust, the Khojaly, and of all genocides, to ensure that their death and their suffering will never be forgotten or ignored, and to do everything in our power to stop such atrocities from happening again – anywhere or to any people in the world.
The history of Israel and that of Azerbaijan have long been blended
Addressing the United Nations in New York during the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust on 27 January 2015, President of the Hebrew State Reuven Rivlin devoted much of his speech to the fate of the Azerbaijanis, who were killed by hundreds of thousands in February 26, 1992 in Khojaly.
The month of February of each year the wounds of the Azerbaijani people are renewed. Their wounds are renewed because of every victim had a story, a family, a childhood, a future cut short in this massacre which has been perpetrated by Armenians in their own homes. The moral losses of the victims and their relatives in Azerbaijan will be doubled this year for the first reason of the 25th anniversary of the commemoration of the Khojaly genocide, the second for the impunity of the offenders of this crime.
Indeed, for a hundred years the region of the Caucasus has known too many wars, too many tragedies, too many misfortunes. The history of the massacre of the Azerbaijanis by the Armenians is therefore older in terms of occupation of the Azerbaijani territories of Mountainous Karabagh and the policy of ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijanis led by invading Armenia.
The chronology of the massacres of the Azerbaijanis by the Armenians confirms that this savagery had deep roots since the beginning of the XX century.
This deportation policy was the first stage (1918-1920) in the history of the forced ousting of Azerbaijanis from their ancestral lands, which had already “become” Armenia. The deportations were carried out directly by the newly established Armenian state. Other forms of ethnic cleansing were also conducted, especially massacre. According to calculations made on the basis of Armenian sources, 565,000 of the 575,000 Azerbaijanis living in the territory of Armenia were killed or ousted at the end of World War I. Armenian author Z.Korkadyan wrote: “In 1920, after the Dashnaks, there remained a few more than 10,000 Azerbaijanis. There were 72,596 Azerbaijanis after the return of 60,000 refugees in 1922”.
Armenia is the only country in the South Caucasus with a mono-ethnic and racist population.
Thus, as a result of the deportation policy deliberately and systematically implemented by Armenia, the expulsion of Azerbaijanis from Armenia was completed. In fact, Armenia’s claim on Nagorny-Karabagh developed into undeclared war on Azerbaijan. The Nagorny-Karabagh region and seven surrounding districts of Azerbaijan, in all 20 % of the Azerbaijani territory, were occupied. Armenia invaded the historical homeland of Azerbaijanis by means of deportations and pure ethnic cleansing.
The Armenian aggressors were inspired by the ideological illusion of creating "a Greater Armenia" from sea to sea. The Armenian brutalities started in Baku continued in Nakhchivan, Shamakhi, Zengezour, but also in the villages predominantly populated by Azerbaijanis in Armenia today.
Today the people installed in the administrative machinery of Armenia like Serj Sarkissyan (the current president, Seyran Ohanian (former defense minister), Lev Kocharian (former president) and dozens these types of government men attended directly in the extermination and ethnic cleansing of Azerbaijanis in the Mountainous Karabagh, occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The emergence of a new international legal doctrine, "crimes against humanity," intended as a vaccine against the recurrence of similar genocides by replacing impunity with institutionalized retributive justice.
With this demonstration we could make comparative analyzes between the Armenian nationalist dashnaktsutyun party (the Armenian Revolutionary Federation) and the totalitarian populist party of Hitler in Nazi Germany. There were irrationality and racism, which constitute shared characteristics in the acts of the Armenian leaders of the dashnaktsutyun party as these have committed by Hitler.
Regarding the Jewish genocide, a related aspect of the problem is the relationship between the German state apparatus and the Nazi party. The promulgation of the Nuremberg laws clearly illustrates the nature of this hatred behavior, in which the party desiderata were significant primarily in the administration of state affairs. The laws were drafted in Nuremberg, revised repeatedly by the intervention of Hitler and his party ideologues, and then announced by Hitler to the Reichstag in Berlin. After seizing power, the Nazis restructured the German state so that a hierarchy of party functionaries gained ultimate control of the main operations of the nation.
Denial of reality often interested. This negation is part of the table of indications of the new anti-Jewish wave. The denial of anti-Jewish facts functions as a symptom. This recent wave of anti-Semitism is by no means essentially an endogenous phenomenon: it is not a resurgence of modern nationalist or racist anti-Semitism, but an adaptation to the characteristics of contemporary political culture, an imaginary anti-Jew today widely spread on the planet.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted on 27 January 2017 the difficulties of living in the Middle East and the uptick in anti-Semitism across Europe during an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem.
“As we remember the victims and this crime, we must never forget the roots of our greatest disaster — the insatiable hatred for the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said
The Israeli leader added that today, “anti-Semitism — which is the world’s oldest hatred — is experiencing a revival in the enlightened West. You can see this in European capitals….The rise of anti-Semitism, the resurgence of anti-Semitism that is happening, and few would have imagined that this would be possible a few years ago,” said Netanyahu.
Let us remember that the last two peoples Jewish and Azerbaijanis have undergone a physical, intentional, systematic and programmed extermination of the populations because of their ethnic and identity origins. The two nations were the victims of hatred ideologies.
Khojaly is a culmination of the drama perpetrated by Armenia against Azerbaijanis. Systematic cleansing of Azerbaijanis from their homes in Mountainous Karabagh and 7 surrounding regions, the systematic extermination of civilians without giving the possibility of free access to a humanitarian corridor in the area of the conflict. This is an unprecedented drama of the story that the innocent Azerbaijanis lived ruthlessly during a frozen winter night.
Azerbaijan has been trying since its independence to close the wounds of its compatriots surviving the massacre by Armenia. Then the Azerbaijanis dispersed in their own historical territories always have to hear, to bring the proofs for the Shoah too. Because memory and remember are the ultimate resistances to forbid the erasure of martyrs.
25 years ago, on 26 February 1992 during a frozen winter night, Armenia militarized by the heavy artillery of the 366th Motorized Infantry Regiment of the former Soviet Union located in Khankendi committed this barbarity in the Azerbaijani district of Khodjaly.
The racial hatred of the Armenians towards the Azerbaijanis knows no borders. In a few hours during the night 25 to 26 February 613 civilians were killed including 106 women, 83 children. 56 people were killed with particular brutality, 8 families were totally exterminated, 25 children lost both parents, and 130 children lost at least one parent in a massacre that became the most brutal punishment of civilians during the 3 years of the military phase of the conflict.
In his 1992 report on the Khojaly massacre, Human Rights Watch declared it a terrible crime:
"A large part of the population, accompanied by a dozen fighters fled the city on arrival of Armenian troops. When they moved closer to the border of Azerbaijan, they had to pass an Armenian checkpoint where they were all killed with cruelty ... Armenian soldiers murdered unarmed civilians and helpless soldiers And they have even burned human beings, innocent children, adults and even objects of cultural and historical heritage."
Khodjaly, a Mother, her unsearchable grief and her tears
The destruction of a people passes through the methodical destruction of its spirit, of its culture, by the negation of its knowledge and its incarnation.
Then the process is unfortunately established, women, men are murdered, murdered because they are Azerbaijani, murdered because they are Jews in the memory of the Holocaust. Then those who remain, those who remain, are driven out, taken away, deported. Here is the barbarity committed.
It was necessary in 1941 with the first rumors of mass extermination in Eastern Europe, a Polish Jew exiled in the USA Raphael Lemkin invents the word "genocide" he thought of all the peoples who had suffered massacres, including Azerbaijanis and he imagined what the Jewish people expected.
This year the Azerbaijanis commemorated with the utmost firmness the 25th anniversary of the victims of the genocide of Khojaly perpetrated by the fascism of Armenia. These murdered Azerbaijani babies are said to be 25 years old now, but the Armenian murderers of this crime like Serj Sarkissyan have not been tried before the International Court. Azerbaijan is crying out for justice to Khojaly in all courts. It is clear that the efforts of Jews and Azerbaijanis must be united in order to fight for justice, memory and also against negation.
As the Minister of Defense of Israel, Azerbaijan's friend Avigdor Liberman said during the event of commemoration organized as part of the international campaign of civil awareness initiated by vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva "Justice for Khodjaly" at the Israeli city of Akko in 2015: "There were many tragedies in the history of humanity that we cannot forget. Khodjaly is one of these. Unfortunately, we do not remember and do not learn the lessons. We are gathered here today to say the need to combine the experience of Israel with Azerbaijan to prevent such tragedies in the future."
It would be "absurd" to create any similarity between the Shoah and the massacre of Khodjaly. Nothing comparable to the Shoah took place. Who would deny that between our two Azerbaijani and Jewish peoples there exists more than a similarity, a tremendous fraternity tragic, especially during the last seven centuries. It is that both genocides are inscribed in the same infernal logic as an act of horrible crime against Humanity.
The struggle of these peoples is neither to reinterpret history nor to obtain revenge, only to call the world community not to remain indifferent to these crimes and to remember them.